Diaper rashes are the most common complaint of parents when it comes to the health of their infants and toddlers. These rashes grow in moist, warm places and they’re extremely common. They can come-and-go, causing mild to severe symptoms. Even though diaper rashes can be frustrating, home treatment is usually all that is needed to get your child back to feeling like themselves. To find out how to treat diaper rash the right way, read our list of tips and treatments below.
1. Find the Cause
It may sound silly to spend your time trying to figure out how your child’s diaper rash came to be, but it could prove to be extremely helpful. Diaper rashes can be caused by a variety of factors, and sometimes you can figure out how to treat diaper rash by simply treating the root-cause. Some things to consider when your kid starts developing a diaper rash include:
- Is the diaper rash caused by the irritation of urine or bowels? Does your child have diarrhea? Is the diarrhea a result of sickness or a virus?
- Has your child recently tried any new foods or skincare products? Is it possible your child is having an allergic reaction to those new items or to the diapers themselves?
- Has the diaper been put on too tight, or left on too long? It is possible that the diaper has been rubbing or irritating your child?
- Is the diaper rash the result of an infection? Could it be a bacterial or yeast infection? Has your child recently been prescribed antibiotics (a common side-effect of the medication)?
2. Try to Keep the Area Clean and Dry
It can hard to manage, especially since our little ones are always on the go but keeping the area as clean and dry as possible is the quickest way to relieve and cure a diaper rash. These types of rashes are created in moist, dirty areas. If you remove the opportunity for an ideal environment, the rash can start to dry-up and heal.
For infants, try laying them on a clean towel without a diaper, whenever you can. For older children, try letting them be without clothing for a little while, a few times each day. Change their diapers often, and always been careful with wipes. To keep your child’s rash-area clean, try to only use water and a mild soap to avoid irritation. Gently spray or pat your child’s affected area with water, and never scrub. When you dry the area, pat very gently.
3. Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has become a popular option for many medical applications, since it’s loaded with natural healing properties. The oil is a great option if you’re trying to figure out how to treat diaper rash, but also worried about the type of product you’re using on your baby. Coconut oil is all-natural and completely safe to use on any age. It is antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal.
Coconut oil can be applied multiple times each day to moisturize and heal diaper rashes, and it can be especially helpful in yeast infection-related rashes, since it doesn’t contain any types of sugar that yeast would thrive off of. This Kokoso Baby Coconut Oil is made of organic ingredients and absolutely no chemicals. It is ideal for sensitive skin, eczema, and provides rash-areas with optimum moisture. It may not do well healing severe rashes but could be used as part of your routine to help prevent that level of severity again.
4. Apply Diaper Creams with Petrolatum
Petrolatum is found in many types of ointments and creams. It appears to be clear, like petrolatum jelly. It is great for protecting against future diaper rash and trapping in healthy moisture. These types of ointments don’t just work on diaper rashes either, since it is ideal for relieving irritations from any type of irritated skin. They are ideal for mild rashes, and don’t contain the same chemical-power as other types.
Common products that contain petrolatum include Aquaphor and A&D, and they can be easily found in most drug stores. These types of products are one of the most commonly-used methods when figuring out how to treat diaper rash, since many people already have some sort of petrolatum on-hand.
5. Apply Diaper Creams with Zinc Oxide
For diaper rashes that are a little more serious, you can try using creams with zinc oxide. These types of creams are probably what you would normally associate with “diaper cream,” and include products like Desitin or Balmex. These creams are stickier than products with petrolatum and create a longer-lasting barrier between your child’s skin and any irritative elements. They can also include other healing ingredients like aloe or beeswax.
Since products with zinc oxide are designed to be stronger than petrolatum-based products, you should not apply it more than a few times each day. Take a break in-between changes to give the area a break. Putting it on too often can cause skin irritation.
6. Watch what They Eat and Drink
Your child’s diet could not only be contributing to the diaper rash, but also restricting its ability to be healed. A sure-fire, natural method when you’re looking for how to treat diaper rash, is too keep a closer eye on what your child is eating and drinking. For example, try not to feed your child a diet full of fiber or dairy while they have diaper rash, since it can contribute to loose-bowels/diarrhea.
You should also try to limit the amount of dairy or juice they are drinking. Try to provide them with drinking options that make the urine less concentrated. Cranberry juice is an ideal option for anyone over the age of 12 months, but that should be the only juice you provide. When you can, push your child to drink lots of water to help make their urine less irritating to the skin.
Diaper rashes can be irritating and sometimes painful, but they won’t last forever. When you need to know how to treat diaper rash on your child, try one of our tried-and-true tips above. Which option works best for your child? And remember, when a diaper rash doesn’t get better in a day or two, consult your pediatrician.